Today I MOVED. I am back in my beloved Gaoxiong! I am so excited to be in this city. We are in the Xiaogang ward. My new companion is Sister Johnston from Ogden and she is the best! We are so excited about getting to work together.
I totally ran out of time to mention this last week, but two weeks ago we had 7 of our investigators come to church! IT WAS AMAZING. We built an entire Gospel Principles class of our super solid sisters. They all asked a lot of questions and the ward was really excited about it and they welcomed them all so well. It was also one of the best church meetings I have been to ever! Those who were asked to teach and speak were so prepared and did so well. It was the best! Yay Tainan 2nd Ward!!
I have absolutely LOVED training Sister Shen! She has become such an amazing missionary I can’t even believe it! I love her so much. We really grew together a lot and she taught me SO MUCH. We saw so many miracles together and overcame a lot of little trials as well. In the end, we really will be friends forever. There is nothing quite like the bond of serving the Lord together for 3 months.
I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Lin again last week! She is seriously one of my heroes. She is such a great example to me. I learned so much from her. We had a really really great time on exchanges together and practiced being SUPER bold in inviting people not only to learn about the restored gospel, but to ACT on it.
Last Saturday we had an amazing baptism! Yeh Jiemei and Wang Nai Nai were both baptized! There were so many miracles that happened in the last couple of months to get them there, but they did it!
First, Yeh Jiemei. We met her at the beginning of last move call. Sister Lin and Sister Christensen contacted her and all they wrote on the contact card was that she had a cute dog and had some English interest, but wow when we first met with her she was amazing. She wanted to learn absolutely everything about the gospel. She studied harder and asked better questions than any person I have ever worked with. She gained a testimony of the basic principles of the gospel quickly and acted on them as well. When we invited her to be baptized at first, she was a little hesitant and instead of setting a baptismal goal she told us that she had given herself a deadline that within the next six months she would be baptized. At one point during one of our lessons about a month ago I felt very strongly impressed that we needed to invite her to be baptized on the 18th of July. I didn’t know why it needed to be that day, but it was one of the strongest promptings I have ever gotten on my mission. That day she accepted the invitation and was aiming for that goal. She worked hard to gain a testimony and truly made the gospel of Jesus Christ the most important aspect of her life. She has loved coming to church and has made good friends with all the members of the ward. She also already had a lot of skirts in her wardrobe- which is a first for any of the investigators I have every taught! In the end, she was prepared and within the six weeks of meeting her, she was baptized. My favorite part of her process was her confirmation. She really felt the power of the Spirit as she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. MIRACLES!
Then, WANG NAI NAI! She is the greatest. She is a 78 year old aboriginal Taiwanese woman from PingDong. She’s actually a princess in their culture! For real. Nai Nai means grandma- we really feel like she is a grandma to us. Her daughter is a wonderful member in this ward and my last week with Sister Kwan, she brought her mom to church and we met her. Then one of my first weeks with Sister Shen, we went to visit her and invite her to learn about the restored gospel. That day she was SO willing and excited and decided she wanted to be baptized on her 78th birthday- which was on June 20th. But then she got really sick and was in and out of the hospital for over a month and also went to Ping Dong for a couple of weeks. We kept visiting her in the hospital and helped her get used to praying. The elders were also able to give her a Priesthood blessing that really built her faith. And then just a couple of weeks ago she came back with SO MUCH DESIRE. Her health was super great and she told us that she really wanted to be baptized! So we finished teaching the lessons and prepared her for an interview really fast. She loves the commandments! And she loves the gospel. It was amazing. The greatest moment of her baptism was when she bore her testimony afterwards. Because she is aboriginal, she is very shy about her Mandarin because she doesn’t think she speaks it all that well. (That was also an obstacle in her teaching, she doesn’t read Mandarin and her speaking is kind of broken. I am so grateful for wonderful members who speak Taiwanese who were able to help us). Anyway, she bore her testimony in her aboriginal tongue and her daughter helped translate for us. She said SO confidently that God loves and knows her. Just a few weeks ago she wasn’t sure. It was an amazing change to see! I love my Taiwanese grandma and I am so glad that she got baptized!